Ft. Lauderdale Personal Injury FAQ
Answers to Common Questions
Can I bring a lawsuit against a rental car company for an accident that was caused from the tire tread separating?If the evidence supports the fact that the rental company did not service the vehicle regularly, did not replace the tires when needed, or did not monitor the tire pressure and take care of the tires properly, then you may be able to bring a
personal injury lawsuit in against the rental car company.
Additionally, if the rental car company had the tires retreaded in an effort to save more money and be more profitable, then they may also be liable for your accident and injuries. When companies make this decision to put their bottom line ahead of their customers' safety, they should be held accountable for their negligent decisions.
Unfortunately, many rental moving truck companies recap tires and expose their customers to careless and unnecessary risks. If the rental company would have put a new tire on the truck or car and put their customers' safety first, then the accident may have never occurred in the first place.
If the rental company made the decision of retreading the tires to save money and put their bottom line ahead of your personal safety, then you may be able to sue for damages, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.
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What should a doctor do to prevent birth injury when a baby's shoulder is stuck at birth?When a baby's shoulder gets stuck behind its mother's pubic bone during childbirth, shoulder dystocia or
Erb's palsy could occur if too much force is put on the baby's body in an effort to get the child out of the birthing canal.
The appropriate actions and maneuvers need to be taken to prevent such an injury from occurring. Doctors and nurses have been trained how to help deal with this emergency situation through the "HELPERR" mnemonic:
H - Help. The doctor needs to call for help so that a team can come into the delivery room to help and bring special equipment if needed.
E - Episiotomy. The medical staff will need to evaluate methods to loosen the stuck shoulder, which may call for an episiotomy.
L - Legs. The mother's legs and thighs are positioned on her abdomen, flexing the hips to free the baby's shoulder.
P - Suprapubic Pressure. A doctor will place a hand on the baby's stuck shoulder and will use an approved motion to try and change the shoulder position.
E - Enter Maneuvers. A doctor will try to dislodge the shoulder by performing internal rotations.
R - Remove. A doctor will try to free the baby by manually removing the posterior arm from the birthing canal.
R - Roll. The patient may be rolled onto all fours allowing gravity to help dislodge the baby.
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I never really see my spouse check our child's seat. Should we inspect it regularly?After you initially get the car seat installed properly and checked at a child safety seat inspection station, you can rest assured knowing your precious cargo should be protected in the event of a
car accident. However, child safety seats should be checked regularly to verify several things:
- First, the tightness of the straps and seat should constantly be monitored.
- Then, the chest clips should be adjusted to the child's armpit level.
- Finally, a child's height and weight should be checked to make sure the appropriate seat is being used.
Children are more fragile and more susceptible to serious and fatal injuries in car crashes, and parents need to continually monitor their seats. Talk to your spouse, and make sure you guys are on the same page and know the correct stages.
From birth to age one, children should be placed in a rear-facing child seat in the back seat. Children over age one and over 20 pounds should be placed in forward-facing child safety seats in the rear of the car. In both cases, the LATCH system should be used to adjust the tension and placement correctly and to make sure the car seat is locked into the car securely.
In our state, children through age three must be placed securely in a separate child safety seat. Children age four and older can be placed in a separate carrier or use a safety belt if it fits the child correctly. If the seat belt doesn't fit the child right, then a booster seat should be used to get the child in the right position.
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Can any attorney represent my case?Although any lawyer in our state can represent you after being admitting to the Florida Bar, you will receive better results working with a lawyer skilled in that certain area of law. For example, lawyers who deal with divorces are familiar with the rules surrounding family law. Similarly, accident attorneys are familiar with Florida's personal injury laws.
There are many advantages to working with a skilled accident attorney. First, attorneys skilled in this area of law will know what to do after an accident. A lawyer will direct you to seek medical attention and to not talk with the insurance company. Additionally, a personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company in order to get you the most compensation possible. Finally, a lawyer who has represented accident victims will know how to build a strong case on your behalf. If your case needs to go to trial, a skilled attorney will know how to anticipate types of arguments from the defendant.
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I fell down the stairs at work due to the dim lighting. There was something spilled on the stairs that I couldn't see because the lights were broken. Can I get my employer or the building's landlord to cover my injuries?Falling down because you couldn't see the stair in front of you should be grounds for a
premises liability claim. However, we would need to know more about the specifics of your case to be able to determine the legal scope of your claim and your case worth.
We have seen a number of slip and fall accident victims sustain injuries in falls due to someone else's negligence in keeping up the property. Your employer or the landlord does have a responsibility to employees and guests that walk on the premises, and they should make sure the property is safe. This includes the staircase.
When employers or landlords do not take their duty to protect their employees from hazards seriously, then they should be held accountable for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Inadequate lighting or broken lights are considered poor lighting, and this can cause a hazard that could have been prevented if the property was being maintained regularly.
If the landlord or your employer did not regularly maintain the property, then their lack of maintenance could be in question. Most likely you could bring a lawsuit against the landlord or your employer for compensation for your medical expenses and lost income.
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What should you look for in a car accident attorney?After you have been injured in a car accident, you know that you need to hire an accident attorney to represent you, but you may not know how to find the best lawyer to represent your case. There are certain things you will want to look for in a car accident attorney, such as:
- Does the attorney regularly handle types of cases similar to yours? If a lawyer focuses his or her practice in a different area than the problem you have, then you should look for another attorney. For example, you should not hire an attorney who mostly practices divorce law when you need an accident attorney.
- Will that attorney be easily accessible to you? After you hire an attorney, you need to know that you can have direct contact with him or her. Find out if he or she will return your calls.
- Does the attorney ever take cases all the way to trial? Most personal injury cases result in settlements outside of trial, but there are some cases that need to go all the way to the court. You will need to make sure your attorney has trial experience before hiring him or her.
It is critical to meet with the attorney first before you hire the law firm to represent you. Additionally, it is wise to ask that attorney about his or her experience and past results in similar cases to yours.
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How Do I Know if My Tires Should Be Recalled?Tires could fail for many different reasons, including lack of maintenance, tire pressure that is too low, and extreme use when the tire should be replaced. However, tires could also fail due to tire tread separation and other tire defects in the design and manufacturing process.
It is an owner's responsibility to check his or her tires for tire pressure, make sure tires are rotated correctly, and replace tires when they get too old or worn. Additionally, a tire manufacturer is responsible for making tires that are safe and free from defects.
If you are noticing tread separation, do not drive on your tires. Make sure you research your tires to find out if there are any notices or recalls that have occurred. You can call the specific tire manufacture to find out and report your concern. You can also look at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) website.
The most recent tire recall that has been announced is from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. They are recalling 41,000 of their Wrangler Silent Armor tires made in 2009, but 27,000 are expected to still be in use. The recall came from the concern that the some of the tires could tear and lead to crashes and rollover accidents in South Florida and throughout this nation. The recall came after the company saw many warranty and property damage claims in addition to a fatal accident in which the vehicle had the Wrangler Silent Armor tires on.
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I fell in a supermarket but was too embarrassed to report it. Can I still bring a premises liability case against the store?The answer to your question is that it depends. It depends when your accident occurred, if anyone saw your fall, if you have proof, and if the store manager or employees were aware of the hazard and did nothing about it.
If your slip and fall accident occurred over four years ago, then you will not be able to bring a premises liability claim against the store, but if it occurred under four years ago, then you may be able to bring a claim; however, you will need proof of the fall.
When you fell in the store, was there anyone around who saw you? Did you take pictures with your cell phone or camera to prove the hazard was there? It is in your best interests to have pictures showing the hazard, as well as a witness to the accident. However, if you have neither, don't count yourself out. You may still be able to pursue a case if the store had video surveillance of the fall or if an employee reported seeing you fall.
If an employee or store manager was aware of the hazard and did nothing to repair it or remove it, then you may be able to prove negligence.
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What can I do to make sure my elderly mom is still safe to drive?One of the key factors in senior traffic accidents is the driver's ability to see. It is normal for vision to start failing with age; however, some seniors do not get their eyes checked regularly. You can make sure your mother has her regular eye exams to verify that she doesn't have cataracts or glaucoma and that she receives eyeglasses, if necessary.
Additionally, make sure your mother can also hear well. As with vision, hearing is vital to safe driving in order to hear sirens and horns. By making sure your mother gets her regular eye and hearing exams, you can do your part in keeping her safe.
Also, check to see that your mother's windshield and mirrors are cleaned frequently to make sure she can see clearly while driving. Verify that her car's signals work and that her headlights and brake lights are not burned out. If you cannot do this yourself, schedule a vehicle maintenance checkup for your mother's car to certify that her vehicle is safe to drive.
Talk to your mom about her driving concerns. She may feel completely comfortable at the wheel; however, she may not. Advise her to allow extra distance when following another car and to try to only drive during daylight.
If your mother does not feel comfortable driving or you do not feel she is safe to drive anymore, arrange for alternate transportation to help her avoid being involved in a crash.
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I am concerned about my friend's safety because she is constantly distracted by her kids in the back seat while driving. Should I say something to her?Parents of children often times do not realize how much their children actually distract them from driving safely. When they hear the baby crying, they may reach into the back seat to give pacifiers or bottles. Oftentimes, they do this by taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. When this occurs, their minds are also off of driving and focused on their children.
As a close friend, your friend may listen to you and respect you if you approach her carefully. You may want to let her know that you are concerned about her safety and the safety of her kids when she takes her eyes off the road and focuses them on the back seat. If she doesn't listen, you may want to cite an example in the news.
Sadly, many parents of children have gotten into car accidents because their children distracted them behind the wheel. If your friend realizes this fact, she may be more focused on driving in order to make sure her family reaches their destination safely and accident free.
If you were injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, you may have rights to financial compensation for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages and more.
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Can I sue someone for aggressive driving or road rage?If another driver's aggressive driving, such as running a red light, tailgating, braking or accelerating rapidly, traveling at excessive speeds, swerving in and out of lanes, or cutting you off caused your auto accident, then you may have rights to sue that driver to pursue compensation for the property damages and injuries that you suffered.
Since aggressive driving is usually referred to as "road rage" or dangerous, reckless driving, you may be able to find witnesses to testify about that driver's bad behaviors behind the wheel. Witnesses are critical to helping prove that the other driver was the one whose actions caused the crash. This is why it is wise to talk with a pedestrian, another driver, or a passenger who saw the crash and to get their contact information.
If someone was injured or killed due to another driver's aggressiveness on the road, it can be considered recklessness and unlawful. As an injured person, you are entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that negligent driver; however, it can be complicated to pursue a personal injury claim without the help of an experienced attorney.
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I suffered an eye injury at work, but my employer isn't being too helpful. What should I do?An eye injury can be an extremely traumatic event. Whether the
work injury occurred because of something flying through the air, chemical exposure, or a blow to the eye, eye injuries can be painful and could have a lifelong impact.
If minimal or permanent loss of vision occurred in one eye or both eyes due to the work injury, you may no longer be able to perform your job, take care of yourself, drive, or do other daily activities you enjoy. When this happens, medical expenses may increase, and making a living can be difficult.
When eye injuries in the workplace occur, it could be the result of negligence on someone else's part, reckless behavior, or an employer not providing the right safety gear and eyewear for the job at hand.
If your employer is not being of help to you during this time, you need to remember that they or their insurance company are not on your side. They may be actively working to avoid paying money for your workers' comp or personal injury claim.
This is why it is critical that you seek medical care after a work injury and meet with an attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you take action to safeguard your right to compensation.
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I was driving safely, so why was I fined for not moving over a lane?The State of Florida has had the Move Over law in place for over a decade; however, many motorists are still unaware of this law or ignore it. Sadly, a recent crash occurred that seriously injured a motorcycle trooper due to a driver not moving over. Due to this, law enforcement officers are cracking down on violators of the Move Over law.
Although you may have been driving safely and had good intentions, police officers are risking their lives standing on the sides of the roads either helping stranded motorists, investigating crash scenes, or citing careless drivers. They are not willing to take any more chances. They want to get the word out so that motorists start obeying this law to minimize auto accidents.
There have been over 170 deaths nationwide due to cars not moving over a lane and crashing into emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Granted, some of these accidents have occurred due to drunk drivers, but many were the result of distracted drivers or drivers losing control of their cars. Because of this, Florida troopers are now looking to cite anyone for failing to move over one lane and will issue fines of up to $165.
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Another driver cut me off and was driving aggressively before we collided. Do I have a case against that driver for my injuries?Aggressive driving is a real problem, and one that many drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles face. Sadly, people get into their cars upset after a fight they had at home, a bad day at work, while feeling ill, going through a divorce, or dealing with an ongoing frustration with financial problems. Many things in life can affect people's moods; however, no matter what caused them to be in a bad mood, they have no right to act aggressively or to display road rage while sharing the road with other motorists.
If the other driver was driving aggressively or recklessly, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. Do you have witnesses that saw that driver cut you off? Do you have anyone who saw that driver engage in any aggressive behaviors, such as tailgating, honking, cursing, or breaking road rules? If so, testimony indicating any of the above actions will show what state of mind the driver was in, which could benefit your claim.
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What if I know the grocery store had video footage of my slip and fall, but they say they don't?Grocery stores typically have video cameras that monitor the store for their own security purposes, but those videos may not record the entire store area. Unfortunately, stores know that the footage could be used against them in a matter like a slip and fall accident.
When someone is injured in a fall accident due to spilled liquid, crushed fruit, or other fall hazards, the grocery store may be held liable for the damages. Unfortunately, supermarkets know that, and they are aware how much these types of claims are worth. For example, medical bills can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the injury.
When a grocery store acts negligently by destroying the video footage of the fall, there may be other things we can do to prove your case. We may be able to find witnesses or employees who will talk about your fall.
Additionally, you may be able to show in a demonstration that the video was pointing at the accident scene location and was requested quickly after your accident. Based on those two things, it may be enough for a jury or judge to determine that the supermarket may have destroyed evidence of your accident.
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My dad was killed by a driver who was texting. Even though there is no texting-while-driving ban in Florida, can I still file a wrongful death suit?Generally, family members of the deceased should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the grounds of reckless and negligent driving, which may include texting while driving. A personal injury lawyer would need to subpoena cell phone records of the driver who killed your father. The records will show if that driver was texting at the time of the accident.
An accident attorney can prove reckless and negligent behavior by showing that the other driver intentionally took his eyes off the road and that his conduct showed his indifference to the safety of others sharing the road with him. We may also be able to show through law enforcement investigation or witnesses that the other driver was texting while driving.
A driver who is texting while driving has to know that this conduct has the potential to kill another person in a car crash. When people disregard other's lives because they think they can text while driving safely, they should be held accountable for their actions in a wrongful death lawsuit.
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How should I approach talking with my aging dad about his driving skills?As experienced accident attorneys, we know that it is difficult to talk with a senior driver about his ability to drive safely. However, don't let the fear of hurting your dad keep you from talking with him about your concerns regarding his driving. After all, your goal is to keep him free from an accident and keep others who are sharing the road with him safe.
Let your dad know that it is common for aging to come with decreased eye sight, coordination issues, and slower reflexes. Ask him if he has noticed himself having any of these concerns, and tell him that you will go with him to his eye doctor or his primary care doctor to talk about these concerns. Sometimes, certain medications can cause sleepiness or disorientation, which may be able to be corrected with a different medication.
Let him know that, because you love him, his safety is a top priority. If your father has been involved in a car accident in the last couple of months, he should be aware that his driving abilities have deteriorated and should be receptive to your conversation.
Your dad may just need to go get his eyes and ears checked and make sure he gets plenty of rest before he drives. However, if there is a more serious issue, you may need to enlist other relatives or professionals to discuss this problem with your father so that you have support when making the next decision.
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A motorcycle accident caused my broken clavicle and back and neck injuries, which caused me to miss work. Is the other driver responsible to pay me missed wages?We are glad to hear that you survived a motorcycle accident, but understand the healing and recovery after such a crash could be a long road. We also understand the frustration of not being able to return to work and missing out on money that you need to support yourself and your family.
If the other driver turned left in front of your motorcycle, did not see you coming, or swerved into your lane, among other things, he or she could be responsible for your injuries and lost income. If your injuries are causing you to miss work, then you should pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver.
We would like to caution you to not take just any settlement until you know the full extent of your back and neck injuries. Sometimes injuries do not surface immediately after an accident, and if you settle with the other side before you know the true extent of your injuries, then you may not receive all you are entitled to. What if your back injuries get worse and force you to stay off work longer? Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn how much you may be entitled to recover in a settlement from the insurance company.
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Who is entitled to benefits after a wrongful death accident caused by a distracted truck driver?We are saddened to hear that you lost someone close to you in a
commercial truck accident. The truck driver and trucking company may be liable for the wrongful death of your loved one. Although not everyone is entitled to benefits in a wrongful death lawsuit, survivors of the decedent are. If you can show that you were financially dependent on your loved one and will experience financial losses due to the death, you may be entitled to claim benefits through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Certain people who may be eligible for benefits under a wrongful death suit include:
- Nephews and nieces
- Other relatives
By pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to collect for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship loss of support, and pain and suffering. You may also be entitled to pursue punitive damages if the accident is proven to have been caused by the truck driver's reckless behavior.
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What types of things can I sue a truck driver and their trucking company for following an accident?If you were injured in a truck wreck caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for your damages. After a truck accident, the truck driver and the trucking company may be held liable for your losses , including:
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Medical expenses and hospital bills
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical expenses
- Future loss of earnings
It is important to your recovery after a truck accident that you engage a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who has dealt with trucking companies and their insurance carriers. An experienced lawyer will know how to deal with the insurance company and what tricks they have up their sleeves, and will be able to help you avoid any mistakes that could be detrimental to your case.
An accident attorney will also advise you that there may be multiple parties liable in your case. Not only might you be able to bring a suit against the truck driver and his employer, but you may be able to sue the trucking company, the other company that hired the truck driver, the owner of the trailer, the owner of the trailer cab, and the owner of the freight that is in the truck. Additionally, if there was a defect in the truck, the truck's manufacturer and the manufacturer of the cab and trailer may have liability in your case.
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